Wednesday, November 11, 2009


"Almost Thanksgiving!"
I've heard that quite a few times lately.
And it makes me sad.
So many people seem to be looking forward; and when that moment comes, does it not last, well, just for a moment?

I am deliberately trying to relish the present, whatever I am in at the moment. I came up with this idea when I was exercising, as I heard the instructor say once more, "almost there," referring to the end of a particular session. That time of being almost there seemed to hang forever, so I decided to focus on enjoying IT. That second, that minute, takes up as much time as the second or minute that I spend lounging with friends on Market Square with a glass of wine in my hand. Is it not as significant in the whole that is called my life? So I am developing a deliberate mind map. As my legs, say, rotate around during a spinning class I envision the fabric of my muscle actually tearing, rebuilding and strengthening. Science is God's art ("what a work of art is man"), and so are the workings of the human body. The experience should be relished and appreciated.

I am responsible for a conference at work every year, and the event is tomorrow. Yesterday I took this new-found commitment and approached the preparations as if they were the end product, not simply to support the main event in a couple of days. It made the work much easier, and I had a greater sense of accomplishment as I typed out the instructions to the facilitators, chatted with the chef, secured the thank-you gifts. I made an effort to be in the moment, and the moment was savored.

That is not to say that one can appreciate what one is not doing. For example, at least once a week I still recognize a particular luxury: I don't have to rush out the door to daycare (which has not been a part of my life for at least 12 years).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The New Kroger

Today a new Kroger opened in Fountain City. Kroger is a venerable operation in our fair community, so the opening merited a story in the morning newspaper. I read this and I planned to visit the store after work. As I signed out from my office, I told our front desk staff person where I was headed. She said that her daughter had been there and it had been F-U-N! "You can make a meal out of it?" I asked,referring to the anticipated handouts of food samples. She replied "ooohh yeah."

Unfortunately a lot of the merriment had worn off and the food had disappeared by the time I got there at 5:30 p.m. The first omen was that the Mayfield's rep was wheeling her stuff out as I was coming in. She looked BEAT. Yet I moved forward on my entry into the expansive grocery complex. I do believe that there is a disproportional number of families in Fountain City that have three boys. There were a lot of three-boy sets wedged in between the groceries in a lot of carts. And many of the sweet things were tired and hungry. Consequently, there was a lot of squalling. I'd squall, too, if I were three years old, squished in with my two stair-step bros and the grocery shopping experience was constantly marred by a start-and-stop, backing up in response to the number of carts clogging each and every aisle.

Beyond the food that really wasn't there (I did score some Gouda chunks and some pretty good olive-based spread that had been spurned by the 10-year old boy in front of me. In fact, when I saw his nose pierce after checking out the food sample station, I knew I'd have a winner. I just couldn't see him and me having a whole lot in common.), there were two major reasons to go:

1. $500 giveaway
2. $30 Kroger for a new or transferred prescription, only good at this store.

Now I know I won't win the $500, because my husband won an all-expenses paid trip to San Franscisco in 1989, and I figured that win used up all our good luck for the rest of our time on earth. However, we always have prescriptions to transfer.

I read that another Knoxville-based blogger saved 52 percent on her trip to this new Kroger,considering deals and coupon use. I didn't do as well, but we are pickier eaters. You could figure that based on my receipt, I save 37 percent. But to me it's all about the bottom line, which is why, when I dragged my sorry Thursday-night self in at 7 p.m., my husband takes a look at me and says, "oh, let's go out." (remember, we live downtown, so that means three doors down to the brewpub for a burger). And my response was no! we are eating one of these wonderful pizzas that was part of the Kroger mega sale AND I'm getting a rebate on.

Let savings reign!